Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's love got to do with it?

Tina Turner boldly asked the question, "What's love got to do with it?"  The answer: everything and nothing. As I ponder over which B-school is my top choice for this week, I realize that there's the same kind of mystical hooey about falling in love with a school as there is with Mr. Right.

I agree that it's important to love the school, but love is a second hand emotion, and these schools have had more lovers pass through their doors than most of us care to admit.

As a logical (better stated, cynical...) person, I am not sure I come from the right stock to fall in love that quickly. I mean, I am really excited about the schools I am applying to, and I am totally confident that any of the four will be a good fit for me. However, when I hear others describe the overwhelming love they felt with X school, I wonder if I'm missing some heart-stopping feeling.  Their descriptions of the school are couched in all the poetry of Sappho. In fact, their words are practically the mystical proclamation of a Delphic oracle. They'll say: "I knew the second I stepped on campus that this was the right place for me." When I hear phrases like this, I imagine that fit is actually just a magical potion esconced within the alchemy of a business school's ad campaign. Well color me confused: where can I find this love potion number 9?

While I can't deny that the students who make these claims are blissfully happy, they also have nothing to compare the experiences to. So while they're certainly correct in their assessment, they probably would've been head over heels elsewhere too.

I bring all this up to explain my self-doubt: all this gooeyness makes me worry I'm not applying to the right schools. Or worse: I'm a loveless troll.

Take my trip to Kellogg this weekend. I had a great time. The professors were top notch, the current students were beyond helpful and friendly, the alumni raved about the connections and experiences, and the Dean was, in a word, FIERCE. My time there really resonated with me: I can see myself at this school without question. I love that they cherish their students AND their impact on the world.  Kellogg rocks it. And I want to rock it with them.

However, whereas I walked away thinking, "Awesome, I'm glad I applied there," other prospectives were lovesick puppies. In comparison, you'd think I'd hated the school. I have tons of good things to say about Kellogg (and I will if you ask!) but LOVE? I don't even love kittens and rainbows...

I left this weekend with two main questions and about a zillion theories:

1) Is there something wrong with them? 

Perhaps their lives just are lacking in happiness.  These lucky bastards are wired for love and their visits to these schools are all the trigger they need to get their electrical bolt of LOVE.

Which led me to question two...

2) Is there something wrong with ME? 

Can I love anything? Am I really a broken, bitter, heartless tinman? It sucks, but I guess I'm just an empty shell of a human being...or maybe I just need new batteries?

To be honest, I had the same experience with San Francisco.  I didn't love it until I'd lived here for almost 2 years.  But I had people literally asking me after my first week, "Do you LOVE it?" San Francisco is amazing, but I like to let my love sink in over time.

I feel lucky there are so many enthusiastic students going to these schools because I can't wait to join in and drink the love potions! I guess I'm just the kind of person who wants love to be reciprocated.  So, I'll give you the love, but I want you to give it to me, too (hint hint, Kellogg!). 

Unless of course, Tina Turner is asking for it.  Because girl is fierce.

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